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xedd 09-30-2010 01:32 PM

Kitchen Wiring
Hi, my kitchen has one light centered in the middle of the room with a L-shaped counterspace on one side of the room and an flat I-shape on the other wall. The issue that we have is that while standing at the counters, we cast shadows on whatever we are working on. We have under cupboard lights as well but not over the kitchen sink since there are no shelves at that location.

The single ceiling mounted fixture is controlled by two separate switches on either side of the room, 3-way switch correct?

I was thinking of taking on my first major electrical project (aside from changing all of my thermostats to programmables) by adding 3 or 4 pot lights. Consider me a total newbie with electrical wiring. Since we a bungalow style home, the attic space is right above the kitchen so accessing the existing electrical wiring for the ceiling light should be very easy...

In order to wire up the new pot-lights, I am assuming it will involve simply adding a new length of wire run between each pot light, tie white-to-white and black-to-black and then hooking that it into the existing wiring going to the ceiling light, correct? I should not need to run additional wire into the wall space...

Thanks for your input.

kok328 09-30-2010 02:50 PM

Yep it's pretty straight forward assuming you want all the pot lights to be on the 3-way switch and not controlled individually or in any other combination.

budro 10-01-2010 05:32 AM

if by chance the power was ran to the ceiling box and switch legs sent to the switches from the ceiling box you could make the can lights work by the switch and put a fan with light in the center controlled by pull chains. this is only if you would want that. most folks want fluorescent lighting in the kitchen but i've had a few who wanted a fan to deal with the heat. with this you turn on the can lights by the switch and use pull chains for center light or fan or both. thanks, budro

handyguys 10-01-2010 08:25 AM

Like kok328 said. Your plan sounds fine if you want those pot lights on the existing switch.

Only thing I would do before starting this project - I would want to know what else is on that circuit (breaker or fuse). Turn off the breaker and see what else is off. If the entire kitchen is on the same breaker then you may want to investigate some re-wiring.

Your electrical books that you will reference for how to do the wiring will give you some guidance as to how much load you can have on that circuit.

xedd 10-04-2010 12:49 PM

Thanks guys, the house is relatively new, built in 2002. I will try to find out what other loads are on this switch before I buy the lights and start poking around in the attic!

xedd 10-04-2010 12:51 PM

Don't have a need for a fan since we have Split-Air conditioning in the area and it gets plenty cool during the summer. Really just lacking lighting...

I will check what else is running off that circuit. My only concern is the Microwave.

Thanks for your feedback!

xedd 10-12-2010 07:07 AM

So I got up the nerve to poke holes in my kitchen ceiling drywall this weekend, prior to our huge Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday. It was noticed by everybody but my spouse really appreciated the difference.

Anyways, I was surprised to learn just how many lights were on that circuit so I only put two pot lights instead of three. Kind of glad that I did cause they were more than enough to make a huge improvement in the area. Anyways, as it turns out, the overhead fan+light (over the kitchen stove), one outside light in the back yard, 4 sofit lights in the front yard, one light in the front entrance, plus the already existing kitchen light and dining room lights are all on that circuit.

The hardest part was the balancing act on the rafters in the attic while trying to nail the boxes into position. The wiring was a piece of cake with no surprises.

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